Column Study of Aluminum Adsorption from Groundwater by Natural Pumice

Shinta Indah, Denny Helard, Fatilla Hudawaty


Contamination of groundwater by heavy metals is an environmental problem worldwide. Metal poisoning leads severe damage to human health that can cause the death. One of metals contained in the ground water is aluminium, which can be selectively leached from rock and soil to enter any water source. The removal of aluminum from groundwater by natural pumice from Sungai Pasak, West Sumatera, Indonesia was investigated in a continuous fixed-bed column. The performances of column were evaluated by varying the adsorbent bed depth (65–85 cm) and influent flow rate (2 - 4 gpm/ft2 equal to 43–87 mL/min). The results revealed that the increase in bed depth increased the amount of adsorbent used, thus increasing the total removal of aluminum and prolonged the lifespan of the natural pumice column. However, the increase in influent flow rate resulted in the shortened lifespan of the column. The increased flow rate also led the column exhaustion time to reach earlier. Therefore, to obtain optimum performance, suitable parameters are necessary for the column system operation. The column system with a bed depth of 85 cm and flow rate of 2 gpm/ft2 (43 mL/min) showed the best aluminum uptake performance in this study with a total removal of 59.5% and an adsorption capacity of 0.056 mg/g. The results showed that the natural pumice has potential for removing of aluminum from groundwater by column.


adsorption; aluminum; column; pumice

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